Domestic Life and Domestic Tragedy in Early Modern England: The Material Life of the Household

Manchester University Press
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In a theatre which self-consciously cultivated its audiences' imagination, how and what did playgoers 'see' on the stage? This book reconstructs one aspect of that imaginative process. It considers a range of printed and documentary evidence - the majority previously unpublished - for the way ordinary individuals thought about their houses and households. It then explores how writers of domestic tragedies engaged those attitudes to shape their representations of domesticity. It therefore offers a new method for understanding theatrical representations, based around a truly interdisciplinary study of the interaction between literary and historical methods. The plays she cites include Arden of Faversham, Two Lamentable Tragedies, A Woman Killed With Kindness, and A Yorkshire Tragedy.
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About the author

Catherine Richardson is Lecturer in English and History and Fellow of The Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham
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Additional Information

Publisher
Manchester University Press
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Published on
Jul 19, 2013
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781847795786
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / Renaissance
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Catherine Richardson
Addressing the subject of clothing in relation to such fundamental issues as national identity, social distinction, gender, the body, religion and politics, Clothing Culture, 1350-1650 provides a springboard into one of the most fascinating yet least understood aspects of social and cultural history. Nowhere in medieval and early modern European society was its hierarchical and social divisions more obviously reflected than in the sphere of clothing. Indeed, one of the few constant themes of writers, chroniclers, diarists and commentators from Chaucer to Pepys was the subject of fashion and clothes. Whether it was lauding the magnificence of court, warning against the vanity of fashion, describing the latest modes, or decrying the habit of the lower orders to ape the dress of their social superiors, people throughout history have been fascinated by the symbolism, power and messages that clothes can project. Yet despite this contemporary interest, clothing as a subject of historical enquiry has been a largely neglected field of academic study. Whilst it has been discussed in relation to various disciplines, it has not in many cases found a place as a central topic of analysis in its own right. The essays presented in this volume form part of a growing recent trend to put fashion and clothing back into the centre ground of historical research. From Russia to Rome, Ireland to France, this volume contains a wealth of examples of the numerous ways clothing was shaped by, and helped to shape, medieval and early modern European society. Furthermore, it demonstrates how the study of clothing can illuminate other facets of life and why it deserves to be treated as a central, rather than peripheral, facet of European history.
Tara Hamling
This book is about the objects people owned and how they used them. Twenty-three specially written essays investigate the type of things that might have been considered 'everyday objects' in the medieval and early modern periods, and how they help us to understand the daily lives of those individuals for whom few other types of evidence survive - for instance people of lower status and women of all status groups. Everyday Objects presents new research by specialists from a range of disciplines to assess what the study of material culture can contribute to our understanding of medieval and early modern societies. Extending and developing key debates in the study of the everyday, the chapters provide analysis of such things as ceramics, illustrated manuscripts, pins, handbells, carved chimneypieces, clothing, drinking vessels, bagpipes, paintings, shoes, religious icons and the built fabric of domestic houses and guild halls. These things are examined in relation to central themes of pre-modern history; for instance gender, identity, space, morality, skill, value, ritual, use, belief, public and private behaviour, continental influence, materiality, emotion, technical innovation, status, competition and social mobility. This book offers both a collection of new research by a diverse range of specialists and a source book of current methodological approaches for the study of pre-modern material culture. The multi-disciplinary analysis of these 'everyday objects' by archaeologists, art historians, literary scholars, historians, conservators and museum practitioners provides a snapshot of current methodological approaches within the humanities. Although analysis of material culture has become an increasingly important aspect of the study of the past, previous research in this area has often remained confined to subject-specific boundaries. This book will therefore be an invaluable resource for researchers and students interested in learning about important new work which demonstrates the potential of material culture study to cut across traditional historiographies and disciplinary boundaries and access the lived experience of individuals in the past.
Catherine Richardson

The Routledge Handbook of Material Culture in Early Modern Europe

marks the arrival of early modern material culture studies as a vibrant, fully-established field of multi-disciplinary research.

The volume provides a rounded, accessible collection of work on the nature and significance of materiality in early modern Europe – a term that embraces a vast range of objects as well as addressing a wide variety of human interactions with their physical environments. This stimulating view of materiality is distinctive in asking questions about the whole material world as a context for lived experience, and the book considers material interactions at all social levels.

There are 27 chapters by leading experts as well as 13 feature object studies to highlight specific items that have survived from this period (defined broadly as c.1500–c.1800). These contributions explore the things people acquired, owned, treasured, displayed and discarded, the spaces in which people used and thought about things, the social relationships which cluster around goods – between producers, vendors and consumers of various kinds – and the way knowledge travels around those circuits of connection. The content also engages with wider issues such as the relationship between public and private life, the changing connections between the sacred and the profane, or the effects of gender and social status upon lived experience.

Constructed as an accessible, wide-ranging guide to research practice, the book describes and represents the methods which have been developed within various disciplines for analysing pre-modern material culture. It comprises four sections which open up the approaches of various disciplines to non-specialists: ‘Definitions, disciplines, new directions’, ‘Contexts and categories’, ‘Object studies’ and ‘Material culture in action’.

This volume addresses the need for sustained, coherent comment on the state, breadth and potential of this lively new field, including the work of historians, art historians, museum curators, archaeologists, social scientists and literary scholars. It consolidates and communicates recent developments and considers how we might take forward a multi-disciplinary research agenda for the study of material culture in periods before the mass production of goods.

Tara Hamling
This book is about the objects people owned and how they used them. Twenty-three specially written essays investigate the type of things that might have been considered 'everyday objects' in the medieval and early modern periods, and how they help us to understand the daily lives of those individuals for whom few other types of evidence survive - for instance people of lower status and women of all status groups. Everyday Objects presents new research by specialists from a range of disciplines to assess what the study of material culture can contribute to our understanding of medieval and early modern societies. Extending and developing key debates in the study of the everyday, the chapters provide analysis of such things as ceramics, illustrated manuscripts, pins, handbells, carved chimneypieces, clothing, drinking vessels, bagpipes, paintings, shoes, religious icons and the built fabric of domestic houses and guild halls. These things are examined in relation to central themes of pre-modern history; for instance gender, identity, space, morality, skill, value, ritual, use, belief, public and private behaviour, continental influence, materiality, emotion, technical innovation, status, competition and social mobility. This book offers both a collection of new research by a diverse range of specialists and a source book of current methodological approaches for the study of pre-modern material culture. The multi-disciplinary analysis of these 'everyday objects' by archaeologists, art historians, literary scholars, historians, conservators and museum practitioners provides a snapshot of current methodological approaches within the humanities. Although analysis of material culture has become an increasingly important aspect of the study of the past, previous research in this area has often remained confined to subject-specific boundaries. This book will therefore be an invaluable resource for researchers and students interested in learning about important new work which demonstrates the potential of material culture study to cut across traditional historiographies and disciplinary boundaries and access the lived experience of individuals in the past.
Catherine Richardson

The Routledge Handbook of Material Culture in Early Modern Europe

marks the arrival of early modern material culture studies as a vibrant, fully-established field of multi-disciplinary research.

The volume provides a rounded, accessible collection of work on the nature and significance of materiality in early modern Europe – a term that embraces a vast range of objects as well as addressing a wide variety of human interactions with their physical environments. This stimulating view of materiality is distinctive in asking questions about the whole material world as a context for lived experience, and the book considers material interactions at all social levels.

There are 27 chapters by leading experts as well as 13 feature object studies to highlight specific items that have survived from this period (defined broadly as c.1500–c.1800). These contributions explore the things people acquired, owned, treasured, displayed and discarded, the spaces in which people used and thought about things, the social relationships which cluster around goods – between producers, vendors and consumers of various kinds – and the way knowledge travels around those circuits of connection. The content also engages with wider issues such as the relationship between public and private life, the changing connections between the sacred and the profane, or the effects of gender and social status upon lived experience.

Constructed as an accessible, wide-ranging guide to research practice, the book describes and represents the methods which have been developed within various disciplines for analysing pre-modern material culture. It comprises four sections which open up the approaches of various disciplines to non-specialists: ‘Definitions, disciplines, new directions’, ‘Contexts and categories’, ‘Object studies’ and ‘Material culture in action’.

This volume addresses the need for sustained, coherent comment on the state, breadth and potential of this lively new field, including the work of historians, art historians, museum curators, archaeologists, social scientists and literary scholars. It consolidates and communicates recent developments and considers how we might take forward a multi-disciplinary research agenda for the study of material culture in periods before the mass production of goods.

Catherine Richardson
Addressing the subject of clothing in relation to such fundamental issues as national identity, social distinction, gender, the body, religion and politics, Clothing Culture, 1350-1650 provides a springboard into one of the most fascinating yet least understood aspects of social and cultural history. Nowhere in medieval and early modern European society was its hierarchical and social divisions more obviously reflected than in the sphere of clothing. Indeed, one of the few constant themes of writers, chroniclers, diarists and commentators from Chaucer to Pepys was the subject of fashion and clothes. Whether it was lauding the magnificence of court, warning against the vanity of fashion, describing the latest modes, or decrying the habit of the lower orders to ape the dress of their social superiors, people throughout history have been fascinated by the symbolism, power and messages that clothes can project. Yet despite this contemporary interest, clothing as a subject of historical enquiry has been a largely neglected field of academic study. Whilst it has been discussed in relation to various disciplines, it has not in many cases found a place as a central topic of analysis in its own right. The essays presented in this volume form part of a growing recent trend to put fashion and clothing back into the centre ground of historical research. From Russia to Rome, Ireland to France, this volume contains a wealth of examples of the numerous ways clothing was shaped by, and helped to shape, medieval and early modern European society. Furthermore, it demonstrates how the study of clothing can illuminate other facets of life and why it deserves to be treated as a central, rather than peripheral, facet of European history.
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